Most often minors are tried for ‘hooliganism’, theft or inflicting bodily harm
Data from the Azerbaijan State Statistics Committee has revealed that 323 minors between the ages of 14-17 were convicted of crime in 2017.
This is an increase of 25 per cent in comparison with 2016 statistics.
Of the 13,733 people tried for crimes in Azerbaijan last year, 486 were minors, though not all were convicted.
Minors are most often tried for ‘hooliganism’, theft and inflicting bodily harm. Robbery and drug dealing are also among the most common crimes for which minors appear in court.
The maximum prison term that a juvenile can serve in Azerbaijan is 10 years.
Currently there is only one prison for minors in Azerbaijan, which is also connected to the women’s prison. Moreover, there are two social rehabilitation centres in Baku and Ganja where adolescents aged between 10 and 18 are sometimes held before trial, or sent to for periods of time instead of serving prison sentences.
Human rights advocate Eldar Zeynalov says that the juvenile justice system is underdeveloped in Azerbaijan. There are no specialists capable of working with juvenile criminals, nor courts which are only involved in dealing with juvenile cases. Legislation is also woefully lacking in this area of the law.